Saturday, March 18, 2017

Temple Grandin & Steve Silberman (full conversation)

Sunday, March 5, 2017

The selling of the President 1968 by Joe McGinnis

The Selling of the President, 1968The Selling of the President, 1968 by Joe McGinniss
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I think this is a must read for those that are interested in Presidential politics. It is, even almost 50 years later, an eye opener to the behind the scene workings of "selling" a Presidential candidate. What many may not realize that during a campaign almost every moment, appearance by candidate, soundbite, camera angle, interview, even the temperature of room they are in is micromanaged behind the scenes. What may seem natural or casual on the screen is all a production.

Richard Nixon himself is only a modest character in the book. The story is of how he is sold to the voting public. It could have been anyone else before or since. We still learn what Nixon was like on a personal level. Nixon disliked the the press and television appearances. He still thought TV was a gimmick but realized he needed it if he wanted to become President.

Parts of the book also analyze what goes into how the public perceives the President and how they decide who to vote for. It actually made me think abut how I've decided and to understand how others decide. This is big issue these days as we are still trying to figure out what happened in our most recent election. Politics , especially Presidential, has more to do with emotion than rationality. This could explain a lot of what happened in November 2016. We tend to vote with our emotions. This didn't just happen in 1968 or 2016 but happens most Presidential elections. It was the same reason Obama won in 2008, Clinton 1992, Reagan 1980, Carter 1976 and so on.

In self reflection I thought about how twice in the last 8 years I voted for the losing Presidential candidates(McCain in 08 and Hillary in 16). Both Donald and Obama were the "change candidates". Also they had the stronger charisma and they were the exciting candidates. Let's face it despite their experience and intelligence(which were big reasons I supported them) both McCain and Hillary were relatively boring in comparison to their opposition.

I certainly recommend this book for civics geeks and for those wanting to gain an a stronger understanding political elections and how candidates are essentially packaged presented to us much like an advertising campaign. You may learn not only how others choose their President but how you make your choice.

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